Two cyclists have been killed and three others seriously injured, with one fighting for his life, after the group they were riding in was hit by a driver reportedly under the influence of drink and drugs on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
The fatal crash, involving six members of a triathlon team who were out on a training ride, reportedly happened on the N-332 between Xàbia and Dénia, an area popular among British riders for cycling holidays
Traffic police based in Valencia said the riders were struck by the motorist at around 8.30am this morning and that the driver, a 28-year-old woman, had been taken into custody.
The most seriously injured rider was taken to hospital in Valencia by air ambulance, reports the Diario Informacion, while the others were taken to local hospitals to receive treatment.
The newspaper reports that the victims all belonged to the triathlon section of the Club Atlètic Llebeig de Xàbia.
It has named the dead as Eduardo Monfort – whose father is an ex-mayor of Xàbia – and Luis Alberto Contreras, whose son Andrés Contreras is among the injured.
The other two riders who were injured have been named as Scott Gordon and José Antonio Albi.
Officers from the Guardia Civil based in Gandia have taken charge of the investigation, and sources say that the motorist tested positive for drink and drugs and has been arrested on suspicion of reckless homicide.
The only cyclist to escape the incident without serious injury was club president Jaime Escortell, who explained that the car had missed him “by centimetres” after he threw himself from his bike.
He said: “I was saved because I threw myself on the hard shoulder.
“Everything happened quickly,” he added.
“The six of us set out as we do on many Sundays, and we’d had a long, tranquil ride.
“Suddenly a car going at a considerable speed came past us. We had no time to react.”
He added: “I only have a few scratches but I am still in shock.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.